§ MR. E. F. VESEY KNOX (Cavan, W.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether his attention has been called to a letter from Mr. David Mitchell, a Guardian of the Belfast Union, to the Local Government Board stating that the Guardians had accepted 300 mattresses 25 per cent. less than the contract weight, and proportionately less in value, and had paid the full contract price for them. What course is usually pursued by the Board when goods greatly inferior to sample are knowingly accepted by Guardians and paid for at the full price: and, what course the Board proposes to adopt in this case?
MR. J. MORLEY
The Local Government Board received the communication referred to in the question. The Belfast Guardians have stated, that owing to a difficulty in manufacturing the original sample mattress, they permitted a slight deviation there from, and that the mattresses have been received and paid for. The Local Government Board have informed the Guardians that they consider their action in the matter irregular, and that they will draw the Auditor's attention to the transaction. The Board cannot compel the Guardians to adhere to the terms of their contract; but, if the Auditor is of opinion that the ratepayers have suffered loss owing to the proceedings, he can surcharge the Guardians with the amount, or part of the amount, paid for the mattresses.